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Red Leaves
     

Red Leaves

4.5 4
by Paullina Simons
 

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Everyone at Dartmoth College knows Kristina Kim, Conni Tobias, Albert Maplethorpe and Jim Shaw. Attractive, intelligent and poised for brilliant futures, they are campus elite, and ever since freshman years, they've been inseparable—almost like family. Led by the beautiful, spirited and enigmatic Kristina, they share an intimacy others envy.

But it is more

Overview

Everyone at Dartmoth College knows Kristina Kim, Conni Tobias, Albert Maplethorpe and Jim Shaw. Attractive, intelligent and poised for brilliant futures, they are campus elite, and ever since freshman years, they've been inseparable—almost like family. Led by the beautiful, spirited and enigmatic Kristina, they share an intimacy others envy.

But it is more than camaraderie that unites the friends. Dark and seductive secrets bind the four to one another—intense passions and simmering tensions that have been building for years. When those passions finally explode the dead of a bitter cold night, a brutal act will be committed—one that will reveal shocking truths about each of them...

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Second-novelist Simons (Tully, 1994) returns with a tale seemingly influenced by Donna Tartt's The Secret History.

Unlike Tartt, though, Simons chooses a real setting: Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire. But despite the sharply observed locale, the story remains pretty hard to swallow, and Simons can't match her model's intellectual pretensions or in-depth explorations of character. Here, four college seniors are supposedly best friends, but they don't ever seem to like each other very much. The most charismatic is Kristina Kim (who is not Asian, but who does provide, eventually, a reason for her surname), the All-Ivy center on the women's basketball team. Conni Tobias is Kristina's blond, simpering roommate from freshman year; Jim Shaw is a budding politician and Kristina's so-called boyfriend; Albert Maplethorpe is Conni's steady of several years but, more importantly, possesses an uncertain past and a connection to Krissy (as he calls her) that no one seems to understand. When Kristina is found buried beneath a snowdrift, naked but for her black boots, the three remaining friends are immediate suspects; it is up to 30-year-old Detective Spencer Patrick O'Malley—who happened to meet Kristina just before she was killed—to figure out who's telling the truth. As it turns out, nobody is; before long, Conni, who was desperately jealous of Albert's relationship with Kristina, pleads guilty and gets sent to jail; Jim drops out of school and starts working for a bank; and Albert disappears without a trace. O'Malley figures out—with some improbably fancy footwork involving fingerprints—that Albert is not who he claims to be; when the truth is revealed, only the most diligent readers will not say, "Huh?"

Take this to the beach if you must (okay, it's campy fun), but look elsewhere for a mystery with real smarts.

From the Publisher
"Suspenseful. Creates mystery from the ordinary, protected lives of Ivy League kids, slowly peeling away their deceptions to reveal denial, cowardice, and chilling indifference. Engrossing." --Publishers Weekly

"Simon's characterizations are excellent, and she quickly draws the reader deeply into the nuances of the story. Highly recommended." --Library Journal

"A wonderful mystery-suspense story with marvelous twists and turns that keep you guessing—and turning pages—right to the very end." —Detroit Free Press

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780006550570
Publisher:
Flamingo
Publication date:
05/28/2008

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Paullina Simons’ first novel, Tully, was an international success with publication in 11 foreign countries, where it topped several bestseller lists. It was selected by The Book-of-the-Month Club and The Quality Paperback Book Club.

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Red Leaves 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! I guarantee you will not see the twist in this book coming! I couldn't put this book down. The suspense just grabs you and won't let go. Must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so engrossing and has so may loops and turns that it is difficult to put down! I highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've read Tully and liked it, then you will definitely cherish this lovely book by Paullina Simons. I like the way she gets her readers so emotionally involved with the characters. These youngsters in Red Leaves, Kristina, Constance, Albert and Jim felt like my family, or they could have been my children for that matter. I felt especially close to Kristina, the main character as I felt her cold lonliness and her pain. With a cleverly crafted detective storyline, it has the capacity to keep you up all night long until you've turned the last page. After you've turned that last page, you can't get those characters out of your head. If you haven't bought it yet....do so for it's worth every penny. Thanks Ms. Simons.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took awhile for the plot to get moving. It was a good read with unexpected plot twist, but left a few unanswered questions. I still love her Bronze Horseman series the most.